Sunday, February 7, 2010

New Crayons

New Crayons is hosted by Color Online. It's when I discuss what new books I got for the week. Crayons is a good metaphor for multicultural lit :)

This week at Reading in Color
Monday: February=Time To Show We Love and Understand Black People (aka my mixed feelings on Black History Month)
Tuesday: Gateway by Sharon Shinn 3.5/5
Waiting on Wednesday: Toads & Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson + I Need some Diverse YA/MG books (please comment with the name of the publishing company)
Throwback Thursday: Now and Zen by Linda Gerber 4/5
Friday: Blogger Spotlight: Gal Novelty
Saturday: Nothing

For Review

Year of the Horse by Justin Allen

Year of the Horse tells the story of Yen Tzu-lu, a child of Chinese immigrants unwillingly pressed into service by a gang of roughnecks bent on stealing a gold mine from a shadowy villain deep in the western wilderness. With Tzu-lu as our guide, we experience a landscape of legend, stand toe-to-toe with those larger-than- life heroes and villains of our shared American mythos, and learn the inescapable facts that have both enriched and plagued our nation from its inception.

Resonating with echoes of Mark Twain, Larry McMurtry, and J. K. Rowling, this is a book of fabulous adventure and deep resonance. Allen gives readers a picture of how America sees itself, and in so doing he offers up both a heroic vision of the past and hope for the future.

-There sounds like a lot will be going on in this novel so I'm interested to see how that plays out. I love how the author has such a diverse cast (most likely unrealistic for them all to be traveling together but I think it's great that the author is writing about the experiences of all Americans in the west, not just white Americans).

The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee

This is a colourful, action-packed Victorian detective novel centred around the exploits of 'agent' Mary Quinn. At a young age, Mary is rescued from the gallows by a woman masquerading as a prison warden. She is taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. The school, Mary learns, is a front for a private investigation agency and, at 17, she is taken on as an agent. In her new role she is catapulted into the family home of the Thorolds to investigate the shady business dealings of Mr Thorold.

-This will be my first review for the Traveling to Teens book tours. And it sounds awesome! A spy novel and she's POC (I won't say any more than that since it's a bit of a spoiler).

Bought on Amazon (I couldn't resist!)

Taste of Salt: A Story of Modern Haiti by Frances Temple
Djo has a story: Once he was one of "Titid's boys," a vital member of Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide's election team, fighting to overthrow military dictatorship in Haiti. Now he is barely alive, the victim of a political firebombing.

Jeremie has a story: Convent educated Jeremie can climb out of the slums of Port-au-Prince. But she is torn between her mother's hopes and her own wishes for herself . . . and for Haiti.

Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide has a story: A dream of a new Haiti, one in which every person would have a decent life . . . a house with a roof . . . clean water to drink . . . a good, plate of rice and beans every day a field to work in.

At Aristide's request, Djo tells his story to Jeremie--for Titid believes in the power of all of their stories to make change. As Jeremie listens to Djo, and to her own heart, she knows that they will begin a new story, one that is all their own, together.

An Ocean Apart, A World Away by Lensey Namioka
While most 16-year-old girls are planning their weddings, Xueyan, known as Yanyan, has no interest at all in marriage. She is fascinated by medicine. In China in 1921, women rarely attend university, let alone medical school. Still, Yanyan is determined to become a doctor. But Yanyan’s feelings about marriage change when she meets Liang Baoshu.

An outstanding scholar and martial arts student, Baoshu is passionate and dangerous. He is determined to rid China of the foreigners who occupy it and restore power to the Manchu dynasty. Life with him would be an adventure. But when Yanyan realizes that being with Baoshu would also mean sacrificing her dream of becoming a doctor, she faces the most difficult decision of her life. And her choice leads to an entirely new adventure an ocean away in America—where Yanyan is the foreigner.

-Hooray for historical fiction about POC that's different! It's set in the '20s so it will be different from the whole 'Chinese immigrant working on the railroad in America' story (don't get me wrong, that's an important story but there are so many others)

M + O 4EVR by Tonya Hegamin
There are two constants in Opal’s life: her dad’s grungy green baseball cap, and her troubled pal, Marianne, whom Opal loves as a best friend . . . and even more. But nothing stays the same forever. When Opal receives the horrifying news that Marianne is dead, she suddenly must live her life and make decisions based on the needs of one person instead of two. Only with the help of her family and the story of Hannah, a runaway slave, can Opal begin to free herself from the weight of her memories, her ghosts, and her own truth.
-Short (176 pages) but looks achingly sweet. Yay for lesbian POC!

Fabulous by Simone Bryant
There's no such thing as being too rich, too popular or too fabulous…

Pace Academy is an exclusive private school catering to the rich, pampered and beautiful. And Starr, Dionne and Marisol are its ruling elite, with an endless supply of designer clothes, platinum credit cards—and drama….

Starr is planning a spectacular Sweet Fifteen party…but it may be unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.

Dionne stepped out of the hood and into Pace's inner circle, even though her parents are struggling to pay for their lavish new lifestyle.

Marisol is the daughter of a baseball star whose wealth and fame might just tear her family apart.

Now all three girls are about to learn that the price of being fabulous can sometimes be too high, even for the Pace-setters.

-The first thing that attracted me to this book was the cover. 3 African American girls in private school uniforms, it screams chick lit about POC. So I've decided to give it a try, after all POC deserve our own Gossip Girl, Private novels, etc. (as much as I hate comparing books to white literature, it helps get my point across) and Fabulous might help fill in that void.

I hope everyone else had a great week in books. My Haiti review week will start Feb. 15-21 when I review books about Haiti and list ways we can help.
Go Who Dat Saints!


  1. I know a young lady who wears a uniform. :-)

  2. Can I still like you when it isn't February?

    Fabulous looks great.

  3. M + O 4Eva sounds like a potentially great find. I really hope you review it.

  4. These all sound interesting especially An Ocean Apart, A World Away

  5. A spy novel and she's POC (I won't say any more than that since it's a bit of a spoiler)

    Wait wait WHAT?! One of the characters in this novel is POC?!?!?! ALDSJF;ASLJ I want details. I don't care if I get spoiled. a;lkjdf;asljdf

    (Oh gawd, now I just overhyped myself for this book. I mean I was interested before but instead of the interested in the I-will-check-it-out-of-the-library way, it's more of the Want-To-Pay-Hard-Cash-For-Own-Copy way.)

    Also, LOL LENSEY NAMIOKA! Aka the author of Mismatch, my trashy teen romance of ridiculous fluff of 2009. I almost felt ashamed for enjoying it, but whatever, the couple was toooo cute for words!!! *coughs* Anyhow, I'll be waiting for your review.

    M+O 4EVR sounds amazing. *wants*

  6. An Ocean Apart, A World Away looks really interesting. I love that time period.

    M+O 4EVR is an amazing book. I hope you like it!


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